What is Range of Motion?

Range of motion or (ROM) is the measurement of the amount of movement around a specific joint or body part. It is commonly measured during a occupational therapy evaluation. Other impairments that your therapist may measure include strength, gait, flexibility, or balance.

There are 3 types of Range of Motions that are measured

Passive Range of Motion occurs mostly around a joint if you are not using your muscles to move. Someone else must manually move your body while you relax. A machine may also be used to provide passive ROM. For example, after knee replacement surgery, you may not be able to use your muscles to move the knee. Your therapist may straighten and bend your knee for you, passively moving your leg. A device called continuous passive motion (CPM) can also be used to provide passive ROM.

Active-Assistive Range of Motion occurs when you are able to move your injured body part, but you may require some help to move to ensure further injury or damage does not occur. The assistance that helps move your body can come from you or another person. It may also come from a machine or mechanical device.

Active Range of Motion occurs when you use your muscles to help move your body parts. This requires no device or other person to help you move. This is a “strictly you” motion. Active ROM is used when you are able to start moving independently after an injury or surgery. Strengthening exercises are a form of active ROM.